Earth Science Graduates

VIU graduates from the BSc Major in Geoscience, as well as students who have completed the Minor in Earth Science share with us what they are doing now.

Luke Wagner is a graduate of Spring 2020, our largest graduating class in the history of the BSc. Major in Geoscience program.  Here's what he had to say about his journey...

"Having spent many years being an amateur rock-hound, I watched my shelves grow with rocks of which I had no idea how to classify. Hence, I felt that going back to school to learn about the geosciences would not only allow me to organize these rocks, but it would allow me to pursue a career in a field of sciences that I am genuinely passionate about. The past four years of university has allowed me to grow as an individual and gain the knowledge I once desired. I can now walk a terrain of my choosing, and much like reading a book, the landscape can tell stories of ancient floods, violent volcanoes, deep-seated pressures, and heat, or marine environment devoid of movement. These stories can even span billions of years, speaking of ancient terranes that have long disappeared, and are now a simple memory of geological time. Upon graduating, I now feel like I have the skills that will help me to project my dreams of becoming a geoscientist to reality."


Louis Chapdelaine, P.Geo.  
Louis graduated with a BSc. Double Minor in Earth Science and Geography in 2014.  For him, highlights of the program were the field study courses that took them all over, from Open Bay on Quadra Island to the big Island of Hawaii plus local fossil beds in the Nanaimo area where he takes his kids fossil hunting today.  Louis completed a research project on 3D mapping sections of the Horne Lake cave system with the ultimate goal to build an interactive 3D map for public interaction.  His first geoscience job following graduation was with a coal exploration company out of Vancouver – Colonial Coal International Corporation.  A helicopter was his daily commuter to the project site near Tumbler Ridge in eastern BC.  Later, deciding to focus locally he found a job with a local geotechnical firm – Lewkowich Engineering Associates Ltd.  VIU had now developed the Geoscience Major and was offering enough courses to be recognized by Engineers and Geoscientists BC.  He enrolled to finish his EGBC course requirements and became a Geoscientist-in-Training (GIT).   Following another four years of work experience under a Geotechnical Engineer specializing in hazard assessments, Louis received his P.Geo designation in January of 2019. His work now involves hazard assessments (flood, slopes and undermining) for development projects as well quality assurance and acid rock drainage testing for some local quarries.  Louis states “I really enjoy my work and being part of an association of like-minded professionals”. 

Andres Cristancho is a graduate from the Geoscience Major program who is working in the Canadian petroleum industry. Highlights of his studies at VIU include field school to the Channeled Scablands (Eastern Washington), and the Student Industry Field Trip (SIFT) in Calgary, AB hosted by the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists (CSPG). In addition to this he completed the Advanced Sedimentology (GEOL 470) and Applied Geophysics (GEOL 307) courses which have prepared him for a career as a sedimentologist. He plans continue to use this expertise in the petroleum industry in which he has prior experience working as a geophysics assistant in Mexico, as well as an exploration geologist in his native Colombia.

Charlea Taylor is a graduate from the Geoscience Major program and is currently working as a geoscientist in the local forestry sector. During the course of her studies at VIU she undertook a summer work placement with a local engineering firm which led to a full time role upon graduation. Places she has worked include Southgate River (Bute Inlet), Dalgleish Creek (Toba Inlet), and Klaskish Inlet.  In addition to this she completed the academic requirements for Geoscientist-In-Training (GIT) registration with APEGBC and is working towards her professional designation as a Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo). Working as a GIT in the forestry industry, Charlea conducts field assessments  regarding terrain stability, landslide hazard, and road construction/reactivation and creates reports to provide recommendations to minimize the impact of forestry development on the environment. 

Rhy McMillan is a graduate from the Earth Science minor program, which he completed alongside a major in Anthropology in 2013 for his BA degree. The highlights of his time at VIU include an internship at Scladina Cave in Belgium, as well 


as geology field school in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Since graduating from VIU, Rhy has become a graduate student at UBC’s Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences department where he is working on his PhD in Geological Sciences. His thesis is focused on improving the context of archaeological and palaeontological sites using sedimentary geology and the geochemical signatures in bones and teeth. In addition to this, he is a member of the nation-wide Multidisciplinary Applied Geochemistry Network (MAGNET), an NSERC-funded industrial stream Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) devoted to geochemistry. As part of the network, he is provided with connections to lead
ing scientists and access to cutting edge analytical facilities across Canada.

 

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